What are Terpenes and Why are They So Important?

Terpenes are found everywhere in nature and play a key role in many of the products you use everyday. Their presence is understated, but their effects are felt in mass. Follow along as we dive into terpenes, what they are, and how you can use dry herb vaporizers to unlock their rich qualities.

What are terpenes: A quick summary

What are terpenes?

Terpenes are found in the little hairs of plants, called trichomes, and are responsible for unique aromas and various plant pigmentations found throughout nature. These compounds create the flavorful scents you experience when you smell a fresh bouquet of flowers or peel ripe citrus fruits. They serve many purposes in the plant kingdom, but also have many human-based applications.

What do terpenes do?

Lots of things! In nature, terpenes may attract natural allies and pollinators for protection or to promote propagation, or even repel natural predators for survival.

Terpenes are also found in products that we use everyday. Topicals, aromatherapy, and other natural products rely on terpene synthesis and their therapeutic benefits. It’s what you smell when you fire up your essential oil diffuser. In pharmacology, terpenes are a key talking point for their antibacterial, antimicrobial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, and anticancer properties.

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Terpenes and vaporizing

Vaporizing is a fast and easy way to experience the health benefits of different terpenes. Each terpene has its own specific boiling point and is responsible for the varying effects you may feel at different temperature ranges. In general, lower temperatures release terpenes primarily responsible for the light, heady effects while the higher temperatures are responsible for the heavier, more sedative effects.

Dry herb terpenes and their effects

Here are some of the most abundant terpenes found, and how you can experience them.

Humulene terpene

Caryophyllene terpene

Pinene terpene

Myrcene terpene

Eucalyptol Terpene

Limonene terpene

Linalool terpene

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What is the entourage effect?

Basically, all of the compounds in a plant work better together than alone. When different terpene profiles are combined, their effects create unique, one-of-a-kind results. Dry herbs with heavy effects and terpene content like myrcene and linalool will create a special, blended effect. Mix in different terpenes and experience something brand new. The possibilities are endless.

How to vaporize terpenes

Terpenes are responsible for a wide variety of different effects, but are only present at specific temperatures and with different strains and compounds. Different terpenes are released at different temperatures. Some terpenes are destroyed at lower temperatures than others. If you want to ingest every terpene and reap their benefits, start your sessions below 345°F and increase the temperature after a few hits.

345°F / 174°C and below will provide a lighter, energizing effect. You might not pick up on it at first unless you really pay attention. These effects are subtle but can pack a punch. A great temp range for daytime sessions.

350°F / 177°C to 400°F/204°C brings a few more terpenes into the equation with more easy-going effects. This range maintains the light, bouncy feel, but starts to introduce more calming results.

400°F / 198°C and above is where heavier effects take charge. You’ll feel more lethargic as higher temperature terpenes, like linalool, release their sedative effects.

Vaping and the entourage effect

To maximize the entourage effect, think of terpenes like Pokemon - you gotta catch them all before they’re gone. And since some of them are destroyed at low temperatures, we have to start lower to give them a chance. Start your sessions at 345°F / 174°C for a couple of hits to catch the lower temp terpenes before they’re gone. Then increase the temperature to the middle range, say 390°F / 199°C. Once you take a few hits there, you can take a break, or raise the temperature as high as you like to finish it off. When done, wait a few minutes, and the net effects could be stronger than a session at just higher temperatures.

Terpenes: FAQs

How do terpenes affect the body?

Terpenes and terpenoids (dried terpenes) interact with the endocannabinoid system and have varying effects on both the body and mind. Terpenes like linalool create a calm, relaxing effect and can alleviate pain, while limonene can relieve stress and elevate your mood.

How do terpenes make you feel

Terpenes and their effects range from physical sensations to psychological changes. Terpenes like myrcene and linalool provide relaxing effects that you feel throughout your body, while terpenes like pinene and limonene increase mental alertness or reduce stress.

Are terpenes safe to vape?

Terpenes do not harm the body and are perfectly safe to vaporize, however herbs with an unnatural amount of terpenes and terpene isolates may do more harm than good. Stick to whole, natural flowers from reputable sources.

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